The term 'self-improvement' was coined in the 1930s as part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, but it's not a new concept.
It has been continuously evolving, and modern-day applications are adapting to changing times.
Self-help and leadership materials in the past have the same tone: working on yourself and relating with others. This applies across different industries and fields of work. But how does self-improvement apply today?
John Corcoran, Co-Founder of Rise 25 Media, shares his modern take on established self-improvement principles.
Focus on strengths
We grew up thinking that the key to self-improvement is to guard our strengths and work hard on our weaknesses. This led us to think that we need to force ourselves to do things we are not naturally good at. For John, it will be much more rewarding and productive to pursue things you're good at while also maintaining the drive to improve in areas you struggle with.
Double down on your strengths rather than struggling on the areas you are not inherently great at. – John Corcoran
Self-improvement starts with self-awareness. There are plenty of accessible tools and tests available to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. You can even ask for feedback from your circle of family, friends, and colleagues. Ask them what they view as your forte.
So what should you do with your weaknesses? Work around them!
Delegate these tasks if you have the opportunity to do so. But if you need to confront it head-on, don't hesitate to get extra help. You don't have to struggle your way through it alone.
Build better relationships
Once you know your strengths and the areas you should be pursuing, you can build relationships that can influence and complement them. Why? Because your closest network has the power to influence your decisions. They can help you form your disciplines, and shape your direction. Your circle could either help you in harnessing your strengths or distract you away from them. This is why you should build your network around positive influences.
Reach out to people, have a good experience with them from the other end, and seek to deliver value to that person. – John Corcoran.
Content creation is a powerful tool you can use in building networks. Content creation didn't exist for the masses decades ago. Now, anyone can now produce content and maximize it in building relationships.
Whether it's podcasts, blogs, or vlogs, content isn't just here to deliver information. You can share the experience of creating content with someone, by collaborating with them. This move hits two needs in one deed: you could produce and establish a working relationship with someone in one shot.
Deliver value, with no expectations
Give with no expectations that you will receive something back. Using the context of content creation, always be generous with your platform. Deliver value to them, build them up, and then let it go. In the corporate setting, all these efforts are always noticed, in one way or another.
People will know and respect your value if you give them something of value. Always think, “How can we contribute value to this company or this person?”
Showcase other people and highlight their knowledge and expertise to the world. Deliver value to others. And expect nothing in return. It’s worth it. – John Corcoran
Although, beware of the “takers” of this world. Be discerning on when to give and when to draw the line on people to avoid abusing yourself and your boundaries.